I’ve spent two nights away from Katie in her life; the night that I went into labor with Matthew and the night after he was born.

Two nights.

I have never spent a night away from Matthew.

But I’m going away for the weekend. A girls’ weekend. My first since before I was married.

I will miss bedtime.

I will miss stories and rocking and snuggling.

I will miss the way Matthew’s breathing slows as he grows drowsy on my shoulder.

I will miss the kiss that Katie blows to me each night as I close her door.

I know that I will have an amazing time.

I know that they will have a wonderful time with their daddy.

Craig has encouraged me to go, to take what he calls a “much-deserved break,” but there’s a part of me that wants to stay home.

There will be wine, friendship, laughter.

I’ve looked forward to this time with my friends.

But there’s this ache in my stomach at the thought of being away from my babies.

Matthew has been on the verge of walking for days.

Craig has been instructed to take him out at the knees if he even tries to walk while I’m away.

I will be gone for 31 hours.

And I should be more excited than this.

Is it normal to be this apprehensive?


  1. I'm sorry Nichole. I can understand your sentiment. I too have only been away from my son for two nights when my daughter was born. That is it.

    I sure hope you enjoy your time. Your babies are in good hands with their Daddy. I am really looking forward to meeting you!

  2. Tim

    Sounds pretty normal. You just love your kids so much. Nothing wrong with that. I'm sure though once you get other with all those awesome ladies you will begin to relax. Wine will help :) Have a great time Nichole.

  3. Mad Woman behind the Blog

    I so wish I could give you the confidence, the words you need to make leaving easier. But I don't have them. I envy your attachment yet am relieved I don't carry that weight.
    That said, embrace your weekend. The renewal you will experience with make your return to your family's arms even more sweeter.

    That's Amy's answer.
    Mad Woman says: get your ass out woman, we want to play! Oh, and its a good time to teach your husband how to manage without you …so you can do this more often! Party on, girlfriend!

  4. The 1st time I was away from my oldest was when the youngest was born, and again when the youngest was in the hospital at 4 months. And after that, the 1st time I was away from both was for BBC – SF, and let me tell you for the first few hours I was a mess!

    It's totally normal to feel that way, but just remember that this break is not only for you but for them as well! It's healthy! And you will have the best time!!! Wish I could be there to share in it too!

  5. Rebecca

    I remember my first night away – it was actually a weekend in the mountains with the girls. We just had one kid and he was not quite 3.

    I was terrified.

    I almost backed out at the last minute but I was going with 3 girls who didn't have children (there was no way they'd understand – well, they would. But I told myself they wouldn't to make it even harder to back out) and I'd be leaving them with my share of the hotel.

    I went. I had a GREAT time. But half my brain was still at home with my family.

    I've had a couple other nights away since and my brain is always at least a quarter at home.

    I have a girls night planned for the end of February – it will be my first night away from our newest little one (only 4 months old) and I am already having anxiety over it.

    So I guess, in short, yes. I think it is very normal to be this apprehensive.

    Nothing a glass of wine, or 6, can't fix!

    Have a great time!!

  6. Paige Morgan

    I know it will be okay, because I have been there. But my words can't make it true for you. But after 31 hours, you will know too.

    They are with their dad, having a ball. When you go, you don't take your love, they still have that. Have fun, frink wine, go home refreshed!

  7. SquashedMom

    Oh how wish I were there, drinking wine with you instead of here recovering from surgery! (Raise a glass for me, OK?) I, too, have spent precious few nights away from my kids, and the first time was because I was in the ER overnight with my parents (which repeated at various times over the years). At those moments I was so involved in taking care of my mom and dad that I didn't really have time to be immersed in missing taking care of my kids.

    But there have also been 4 other times I have been away overnight from the boys, and each time it is both lovely and very hard. And now, at age eight? Sometimes they are away from me, like last night when Ethan had a sleepover at his friend's house. His friend's mom had even picked him up from school, so I had kissed him goodbye at the door yesterday morning as his dad took him off to school, and I will not see him again until he gets dropped off at our door around noon today. And I enjoyed the quiet last night (the house is MUCH quieter without Ethan). But also? Damn, I missed him. Sigh.

    You will miss your babies like crazy, but also have a wonderful, much needed, time away with friends. Try to let go and relax, knowing your kids will be strengthening their bond with their Dad, which is a good thing. The first time is the hardest, and it's because you're such an involved loving mother that it's so wrenching. But remember this is good for you AND your kids, so go, enjoy!! (that's an order)

  8. Dolli-Mama

    It's totally normal. Ironically, it will do you good to miss your kids, you will enjoy them even more when you get home. And you will have fun with your friends. Both are good things.

  9. Nancy C

    Of course it's normal. My husband and I are traveling OUT OF THE COUNTRY for A WEEK in March.

    I'm terrified.

    My parents are watching the boys. I was talking about my mother about it on the phone and nearly had an anxiety attack. i know that you've got to nurture those friendships and that marriage is the most important friendship in the world

    But…whew! It's hard to let go of those little warm bodies, even if briefly.

    You'll have a wonderful time. Once you're there, it's golden.

  10. Cheryl @ Mommypants

    I feel exactly the same way. And I'm getting on a plane.

    I've only left X once – when I went to BlogHer. I had the time of my life but yes – I missed all my babies.

    Of course, I can always drop you off at home and take Craig's car to Napa by myself.. ;)

    See you in THREE HOURS!!

  11. Nichole

    The funny thing is that they couldn't be in better hands.
    I've been away from home at bedtime numerous times and Craig always says that they had a blast.

    They are so blessed to have such an involved dad.
    I'm blessed that they have such an involved dad. :)

    I'm looking forward to meeting you too, Melissa!

  12. Nichole

    You know what's funny, Tim?
    I know that I'll come home to happy kids and a clean house because Craig seriously rocks the dad gig.

    The kids couldn't be in better hands. :)

  13. Nichole

    Psst…can I tell you a secret?

    Craig is actually the parent who should be staying home with the kids and I should be the one working, because he rocks it here.

    Whenever I go away for the day, I come home to a perfectly clean house, freshly bathed, happy kids, and dinner. I'm not kidding. He has the magic. I always wonder just how he does it because when he comes home everyday, I'm still in dirty yoga pants and haven't even thought about dinner yet!

    I can't wait to see you today!

  14. Nichole

    Thank you, Erin. I truly appreciate your empathy!

    I wish you could be here today. We'll raise a glass to you. :)

  15. Nichole

    Or 6…I like that part. :)

    Thank you for sharing your experience.
    I know that it will be fine. (At least that's what I keep repeating over and over in my head!)

    I'm not worried about the kids or how they'll do without me.
    I'm worried about how I'll do without them!

  16. Nichole

    Oh, Paige, you couldn't be more correct about how much fun they'll have with their dad.

    I know that this will be good for me.
    It will be good for them too. I know that.

    Can't wait to drink some wine with you today!

  17. cricket5033

    What I always love about your posts is how normal they make me feel – and yet, here you are asking if YOU are the normal one!

    Having a strong attachment to your children is such a blessing, though at times like these it may seem a curse. I have spent one night away from my son – my husbands birthday last year. Hubs begged for a night away for ages, and I conceded to a night at a local hotel on the beach. My son stayed at home with my mother, so i knew he'd be in good hands. I thought about him all night. At 5am (the earliest I thought would be rational) I snuck out and went home to get him. I missed him horribly the entire night, even though he had a great time with Grama and didn't ask for me once :(

    We are due to deliver our second child in May, at home. Avoiding an overnight hospital stay away from my son weighed into our decision to homebirth.

    You are a great mom, and yes you are normal. Thanks for making me feel that way too.

  18. Nichole

    Thank you, Varda. So much.
    I wish that you could be here today.
    I'm sending you many speedy recovery wishes.

    I'm leaving in two hours and I will remind myself of your words as I leave.
    I truly appreciate your encouragement!

  19. Nichole

    Yes, I hope that the time away will recharge my batteries.
    I know that it's good for them for me to do that.

    Thank you so much for your kindness and encouragement. :)

  20. Nichole

    I would be a wreck too, Nancy!

    I'll bet you come home to spoiled and happy boys who are thrilled to see you.

    Warm bodies…that's exactly it.

    Thank you for your kind words here…I really needed them.

  21. Nichole

    Get on the plane!
    You'd eat peanuts in Craig's car.
    I must come along for supervision.

  22. Yes. But once you get where you are going that feeling subsides. It doesn't completely go away but it definitely moves into the shadows. It's nice for dads to have that alone time with the kids too. Have fun…once you're back home it feels like you were never away : )

  23. CDG

    I sometimes wonder if I am the most colossally selfish mother in the world. I crave time away like a junkie, and while I miss him and worry that he's missing me while I'm away? I absolutely love to run away. I've only done it a handful of times, and I resent every single time I've had to turn down an opportunity because my husband's schedule couldn't accommodate me or money is tight…

    I envy you a little for your feelings, but I also want to pull up to your house, bundle you into the car, and whisk you off to the world of grown-ups for a few days.

    Have fun in Napa!

  24. gigi

    I know it's hard, but think of it as giving your kids, and your hubs a gift of time alone together, and a gift to yourself to recharge and hang with some great girls!

    I'll be thinking of y'all today and wishing I was there!

  25. Yes it is totally normal to feel this way but realize that spending time with friends and nurturing those other relationships is as doubly important to your soul ;) Enjoy yourself ;)

  26. I don't know how you are feeling, since I don't have children, yet. But I think it sounds totally normal to feel this way. Your husband is right, you deserve a break. At least you know that your husband will take extremely good care of the kiddos. So go and have a great time, and an extra glass of wine!

  27. Yuliya

    Here's what I know from the brief time I was fortunate enough to spend with you: one) I'm guessing you have already done a practice run (or two) of this exact scenario making sure that your babies handled the bedtime routine without you, and two)if you truly weren't ready you wouldn't be going, you know in your gut that they are ready and that's the most important thing. You are an amazing mom. Period.

    Have a wonderful time. Pretty sad I can't be there, have some yummy food and yummier chatter for me!

  28. Peggy

    "Craig has been instructed to take him out at the knees if he even tries to walk while I’m away." HAHAHA…that's just hilarious!
    It will be good for ALL of you to get away, including Craig. It's good for a Dad to spend time alone with the kids, and being in charge. And you know, it will be good for you too. Have a great time.
    Soooo…party at the Booyah's this weekend?

  29. Jules

    Not being a mom, but being a friend that goes with my mom friends on these outings, yes, it’s normal. And yes, you’ll have fun. And yes, you’ll get tons of mommy kisses on your return!

  30. Sherri

    I always had such a very hard time leaving mine. I think I somehow felt that I was such an integral part of their bedtime routines, etc…that they would have a terrible time without me! And you know what? It was always a good thing; always. Whether they were with grandparents, aunts, or just with hubs it always worked out perfectly…..I got some much needed adult time and the kids had the gift of someone else doing for them.

    And Nichole, when you come home and see them? And they hug you tight?

    I'm pretty sure you'll cry. I always do. Have fun, my friend, and I SO wish I were there with all of you!

  31. Liz

    I have a six-month-old, and I have yet to leave her for more than five minutes at a time.

    I know it's all me, but that doesn't make it any easier!

    Allowing the apprehension to exist while moving on with your plans is a big accomplishment, I think.

  32. Without you even saying anything before this, I knew this was in your mind.

    Believe it or not, giving your children time away from you is essential. As much as WE need our kids, what our kids need is to learn that mom is not their whole world so that they bond, trust and connect with other people. They need to learn that Dad, the good friend, the loving babysitter, the aunt or whomever YOU trust is also a place where they are safe. Otherwise the times when you have no choice but to be away causes them trauma, and you deny yourself rejuvenation time that is essential to being there for them the way you want to.

    Plus, you get to do this the first time with ME! Oh, and Cheryl. And a bunch of other amazing women who are going to reassure you, distract you, be totally charmed by you and keep you well supplied in wine, laughter and food.

    So really I'm not as much hot stuff as I seem when you compare me to all that.

    But I'm STILL showing up.

  33. And that's why your husband should spend the weekend crawling, just to make sure he doesn't give Matthew ideas.

  34. You do deserve this and everything will be fine! Craig is a very capable husband and father and this is good for him and the kids, too! But ESPECIALLY good for you!

    Matthew will wait to start walking until you come home.

    Enjoy your weekend. I SO wish I could be there with you ladies.

  35. ksluiter

    yes. it's totally normal.

    or at least MY totally normal.

    and I know who you will be with.

    and I am all jealous.

  36. I know how you feel but I truly believe that girl time and away from the kids is good for the soul. As you know, I am beyond crushed that I can't be there today. I would have been there in a heartbeat if I didn't have barf girl on my hands! I hope you enjoy your much deserved break and rest easy knowing they are in fabulous hands!!

  37. kris

    You are going to have such a good time.

    OK, actually . . . you ARE having such a good time.

    Time away is good. It makes you whole and better able to give yourself to your children. Really.

    No way was I ever planning on joining this weekend event.

    But oh my goodness, I am looking forward to hearing all about it!

  38. Efloraross

    What is it about becoming moms that takes away from us the ability to enjoy "our" time?! I spent no more than 72 hours combined away from Katie in her first 2 years. And felt guilty for all of it. Never would have given a girls weekend a second thought before kids? But now? Yes, I totally get what you are saying. But Craig is right. You deserve a break. We all do. I hope you are able to enjoy it.

    Oh, and pre-baby I used to make lists of all the things I wanted for special occasions. Now? I can't think of a single thing when people ask what I want. Not a single thing. It's like the part of my brain that thinks about ME has been shut off. Which I happen to find baffling and annoying.

  39. Jaime

    You must go!!! And yes, you're going to feel anxious and apprehensive and horrible and you will probably cry…but then you'll get there, and you'll be immersed in gossip and girl talk and wine and giggles, and you will be so thankful for the time away.

    My baby sister got married this fall. I was her matron of honor. I planned her bachelorette party in New Orleans. It was an amazing time. I had so much fun. Ainsley was just 3 and and Freddie was 4 months. I thought I would have a panic attack the day I was leaving. I almost didn't get on the plane. When the flight got delayed, I called my husband crying saying "it's a sign…I shouldn't be leaving them."

    But it was great…and they were fine…and I had such a good time. Ok, way too long of a comment. Point is…yes totally normal to feel this way, but you should still go. Have an awesome time!

  40. It's totally normal! Whenever I get some time away, I feel guilty for leaving my boys and miss them so much. BUT time away especially with girlfriends is good for the soul :) Enjoy, you deserve it!

  41. Kristy

    I always feel quite anxious before going. Then, once I'm gone, I'm fine, and I enjoy myself. By this time, this has already happened. Hope you had a good time!

  42. Nichole

    Okay, when I got home on Sunday night? My kids were happy, bursting with joy from a trip to the library and lots of daddy play. Plus? My house was totally clean. He even cleaned the refrigerator. He runs a tighter ship than I do, that's for sure.

    I asked him how he does it all and I'm convinced he'll never tell me.
    Mad skills, he has.

  43. Nichole

    Thank you so much for your kind words.
    I love knowing that I bring something to your life…even if it is a reminder that you're normal. :)
    Heaven knows that I need that sometimes.

    I'm eager to hear about your home birth. There's so much that I don't know.
    Much love to you…

  44. Nichole

    Thank you, Joyce.
    I had a truly lovely time and I feel like my mommy batteries are all recharged.
    I loved going away, but I really loved coming home.

  45. Nichole

    I'm emailing you my address. ;)
    I'm free and giddy about the idea of you whisking me away. Just say when.

  46. Nichole

    We missed you, Gigi!
    It was great to get away and giggle.
    I felt like a new mom by the time I got home.
    It was good for all of us. :)

  47. Nichole

    You couldn't be more wise, Kimberly!
    Those relationships are so important and now I feel all recharged.

  48. Nichole

    They had so much fun with their daddy.
    They went to Katie's gymnastics class, to the library, and had tons of daddy play time while I was away.
    That they had an incredible time was written all over their faces!

  49. Nichole

    Craig has done a ton of bedtimes on his own, so I knew that he'd have no trouble at all.
    I guess I was most bothered because it felt as though I was actually choosing something over my kids…something that I never do.
    I was so sad that you couldn't be there. Napa in June?
    And thank you for the kind words … moms really need to hear that. :)

  50. Nichole

    They had such an amazing time.
    It was so good for me to get away.
    I knew it would be okay, but the apprehension nearly killed me!

  51. Nichole

    Oh, Sherri, the hugs were simply amazing. I couldn't stop pulling them close all night after I got back.
    They just melted into me and it felt as though all was right with the world.
    I so love this family of mine. Beyond words.

    We missed you so much…I'm eager for Napa in June! :)

  52. Nichole

    The fun was completely out of hand! What an amazing weekend.
    And those return kisses were phenomenal!
    Happy sighs.

  53. I've been gone from the kids several times, for work and play. I struggle with it every single time.

    I'm getting better, and I feel more refreshed when I return and more able to enjoy them, but the guilt is terrible. Maybe because I already spend so much time away from them while I work, regardless, it's hard.

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